Nether's Deep Geographic Location in Cairne | World Anvil

Nether's Deep

Off the western coast of the land of the Gaul Do Shah, deep beneath the sea lies an aquatic subterranean cave system filled with wonders and horrors alike. Many of the artifacts here are the remnants of several locations that were displaced in the initial impact of the Blight upon the Seanachai Isles, and within its hidden secrets there lie many buried things from several cultures. It is from this location that The Drowned maintains its power and sway over the world, secretly manipulating terrestrial events through use of its agents and servants while growing in power.

Geography

Kilometers of twisting tunnels and caves spread out beneath the sea floor, criss crossing and winding in unnatural ways and at extreme angles, mostly filled with the toxically lethal waters of The Ephemeral Sea . Many of the locations here are sunken locations and displaced structures that were pulled down in the tectonic upheaval caused by the planetary impact of the Blight, while some things that one might find here, defy explanation as to how they ended up at the bottom of the sea. While some of the territory has been explored by a few small bands of intrepid or unlucky travelers, the systems go on for what seems like endless distances, encompassing locations that exist below the mainland Ventryte Territories and continue on beleath the Isle of Seanachai and north beyond the Domes of the Shining Eyes . No one truly knows the full scope of this location, and aside from the power that resides there, The Drowned , it is doubtful anyone ever truly will.

Ecosystem

Nether's Deep exists in a constant state of utter darkness, the lack of penetrating light mingled with the black sea water makes visibility nearly impossible and any real distance in most of the locations here. This has forced the life that remains here to evolve in very unique ways. While it seems desolate, the location is actually teeming with all manner of life, though it is often strange and alien to outsiders and more often than not, dangerous as well. In certain pockets of this place, one may find life that defies logic, as many locations hidden within the winding tunnels and sunken caves seem to have ended up there by some means other than the natural. Tales of caverns of ice with lost ships, lava filled domains, sunken ruins, and even the fabled lost lair of the ancient dragon of legend whom the location was named after, Nether is said to still exist in the swirling darkness below.    It is important to recognize that the location is so big and so varied that there is no singular ecosystems in play, though there are many things that do remain constant. One must be prepared to experience anything while traversing this place, because anything truly can happen.

Localized Phenomena

It is believed that the power that resides here, The Drowned has been collecting certain organisms and locations that it deeps of value to its sprawling endeavors to gain power, and has used its considerable reach and influence to somehow move these things into its domain. Several stories exist that describe travelers going to a location only to reach it an d find that it is no longer there, and that there is no record or memory of it existing at all. While most scholars write this off as aberrant mental states, false memories, or delusions, other believe that the true power behind The Drowned is secretly pulling strings and dragging these places and people into its domain as a means to build the power necessary to grow into godhood and seize control of the realm.

Climate

The majority of this domain is freezing cold and filled with the deadly waters of The Ephemeral Sea , and as such the location is of course, uninhabitable, though certain pockets of it and various locations may offer a different perspective and climate. Due to the strange nature of the place it is hard to pin down one specific answer to the question of what the climate might be like, but for the most part, it remains cold, dark, and submerged.

Fauna & Flora

Life within Nether's Deep is abundant and varied. As with most aquatic locations, the constant exposure to the Void evenry causes striking and often dangerous mutations in the life that manages to evolve and remain there, and with the Deep this is even more so, as there are things that exist in the dark paths of that place that should not be there, and things that do not exist elsewhere. Psychic phenomenon are very common here, from schools of fish that act as a hive mind to the Psyphelopod whose grasp of that realm rivals most mentalists. The teeming life that exists in the inky black of the realm c most likely will never be full documented, but it is believed that many answers to a number of medical and scientific conundrums may be found there, possible curatives and solutions to various other concerns potentially existing in the flora and fauna that exist in the nearly unreachable depths.

History

Prior to the Blight, the Shah Peninsula reached much further into the Ephemeral Sea, and contained a large number of structures and locations, both above in the Elven lands and below in a now lost region of Underhome . Within these locations resided a fairly benevolent dragon and her mate, Arerth. The dragon, Nether, was considered a respected protector of the realms of the Elves, and she kept to herself in a large cave by the edge of the sea where she and her mate could overlook the tides and quietly contemplate the world before them. For centuries they held their home and kept the peace, protecting the woods and groves and interacting with the elves on occasion when matters of extreme significance merited seeking out the wisdom of these celestial spirits of the world. This mutually beneficial relationship between the dragons and the elves carried on until the day the sky tore open and doom ascended upon them, catching them in the impact and sending them and and their home spiraling into darkness and locking them in a hellish existence at the bottom of the sea.    The strike of the Void energy caused the entire peninsula to break free and shatter apart as the entire continental shelf in that region collapsed into the caverns of Underhome that existed below it. The dwarven location was crushed beneath the weight and the entire area sank deeper than even the dwarves had dared to go, and it was believed that the entire portion of the world was lost forever. Among the locations and artifacts lost were several elven high houses, including the Keepers of the Tree, a sect of priests tasked by Shah to maintain and keep the Spirit Tree, several coastal holy sites, the Seanachaisian embassy to the elves, a number of subaquatic dwarven mines and refineries that existed under the sea bed, and of course, Nether's cave.    Unbeknownst to the world above, Nether and her mate survived the impact, though were both horribly wounded in the impact and subsequent fall to the darkness below. Arerth, more wounded than Nether, ended his descent atop a small fissure on the sea bed with Nether landing nearby. The weight of the dragon broke a portion of the stone around the fissure loose and caused a widening of the crack in the earth, the waters being pulled down violently in a powerful vortex as this occured. Nether, in an act of desperation attempted to hold onto her mate with all her mighty strength and power, straining against the pull of the vortex and the pain of her own wounds. She held him there, both of the barely alive and teetering on the edge of oblivion for weeks, unable to speak or even cry out in pain because of the waters around them that were quickly turning corrosively toxic, stinging her eyes and wounds more and more with each passing day as the Void energy began to saturate the depths. It is said that The Drowned came to her in this moment, still a burgeoning power at the time but already seeking more, and took advantage of this moment to draw strength from the celestial creatures through trickery and deceit. A bargain was struck, one claiming that Nether would be granted a promise that she would never lose Arerth. In her pain and confusion the nature of that bargain was lost on her, and there she remained, holding on to her mate as they both slowly decayed and their flesh torn away, unable to release her grip or their spirits from that moment frozen in time, their power lost and absorbed by the Drowned and locked there for centuries until an act of kindness set them free in the form of an Ougham named Listener  gave up everything to set them free.

Maps

  • Nether's Deep
Alternative Name(s)
The Deep
Type
Cave System
Owning Organization


Cover image: by Midjourney

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